CrossCountry set for franchise extension

The Department for Transport has announced its intention to make a Direct Award to CrossCountry, following the expiry of its current three-year contract on October 15.

A prior information notice was issued on December 23 2022, informing the train operator (owned by Arriva UK) that the franchise extension would run for four years with the possibility of increasing it to eight.

The document states that, subject to a value for money review, it is “envisaged the services will be substantially similar to those currently operated”.

These inter-regional routes include Plymouth-Edinburgh via Leeds, Reading-Newcastle via Doncaster, Bristol and Bournemouth-Manchester, Nottingham-Cardiff, and Birmingham-Stansted Airport.

Nothing is said about rolling stock, although the release of 18 Class 221 Voyagers by Avanti West Coast this year will raise hopes that some existing services can be reinforced.

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  • Kirk - 11/01/2023 11:48

    But Reading-Newcastle isn’t ‘currently operated ‘

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 11/01/2023 22:24

    Things are indeed looking pretty good and hopeful for CrossCountry (legal name XC Trains Limited) at the moment. Of course, Arriva UK Trains (owned by Deutsche Bahn) will not want to miss this important opportunity. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 11/01/2023 22:43

    CrossCountry's 24 units of Class 221 Super Voyagers operate alongside Class 220s on the routes inherited from Virgin CrossCountry. Since these routes are not cleared for tilting operation (with the exception of Wolverhampton to Stockport), in 2008 the tilting equipment was locked out of use and shortly afterwards was isolated altogether, replacing the hydraulic rams with fixed tie-bars. This change was made to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs. By the way, Avanti West Coast plans to replace its 18 refurbished and overhauled diesel-electric multiple units of Class 221 Super Voyager by 13 Class 805 bi-mode multiple units and 10 Class 807 electric multiple units. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Jonathan Beale - 13/01/2023 15:47

    Ludicrous franchise , one train each way into Cornwall! Just priced Newquay to Edinburgh, for a Sunday in May. =£276!(10hrs on a VOMITER). Ryan Air comes in @ £40. Tis a no-brainer Catch Up DB! Or should I say DFT!

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